After 12 weeks of intense boardroom drama and hilarious blunders, Lord Sugar finally chose his new business partner. 

In a tense episode that saw candidates, Kathryn and Harpreet go head to head as they pitched their business ideas to Lord Sugar. 

And in keeping tradition, past candidates return to help the finalists create the perfect pitch. 

READ MORE: Who won The Apprentice 2022? Kathryn and Harpreet battle it out

However, when viewers tuned in they were shocked to see three candidates had not returned to give a helpings hand.

As Aaron Willis, Sophie Wilding and Francesca Kennedy Wallbank were all missing from the last episode of the BBC series. 

The missing candidates saw viewers flock to social media to question why they weren't there, with one saying "For real, where is Aaron though" on Twitter. 

Whilst another said "Aaron and Sophie are MIA. How did they decide who did and didn't come back for the final episode? Wish Aaron was back rather than Harry."

But Aaron chimed in, talking to on his Instagram page saying "To be quite honest it was pure selfish reasons, I was fired and I had to be back into the house a week later to do the final. Now I was always aware that if I was to get to the final, I would have missed mine and Vicki’s anniversary and we always said if we miss the anniversary then we know that you’re in the final.

"Now I’ve been away from my wife and kids for 10 weeks and when I got fired, I missed my family so much and wanted to spend more time with them obviously. So the thought if me going back into the house for another week or spending quality time with Vicki and spending my anniversary with my family will always come first in that respect.

"So sorry that I’m not on there but I spent the anniversary with my wife, and I am in the audience for Your Hired so watch out for that. But girls absolutely smash it this evening and have a really good one, really worthy finalists there. Enjoy the show because trust me it’s an absolute belter, thank you."

Francesca Kennedy Wallbank also gave her reason for absence as she shared a picture of herself enjoying the sun on a yacht, saying: "For everyone asking if I'm back in the final tonight, unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it as I had already booked a much needed holiday."

Although two of the missing candidate were able to share the reasons, Sophie has yet to share hers.